Fellow ATPM staffer Chris Lawson brought the article to our attention, and several interesting comments have been raised, which reflect my own feelings:
Lawson: “…because it sucks and is two versions behind the Windoze version and you keep trying to charge $40 for it. It would be one thing if it were a really fast, slick browser, but it’s not.
“Then again, maybe I’m still bitter about the fact that they announced a Mac browser in 1996 ‘in a few weeks’ and didn’t deliver until late 2001…”
Michael: “I’m more distressed that anyone would print a story like this without checking the facts (like whether Mac Opera is any good). It’s irresponsible of CNet to act as von Tetzchner’s mouthpiece.”
Michael also rightly points out that there is nothing stopping Opera from using open-source alternatives, as Apple chose to do by using KHTML. Michael points to Chuq Von Rospach’s rockin’ analysis, as well as the dead-on commentary from Eric Albert.
So Mr. von Tetzchner, let’s run the down the Mac browser market, shall we?
- Microsoft Internet Explorer, free
- Netscape, free
- Mozilla, free
Chimera (Navigator), a Mozilla branch, free
- OmniWeb, free trial, $29.95
- iCab, free or $29 for a “Pro” version
- Opera, $39
Quite simply, people do not expect to have to pay for a web browser any more. Just ask Netscape, and thank Microsoft for it. I know there are many people, myself included, who would pay for a wicked fast, slick-looking, web standards-compliant browser. Unfortunately for Opera, their product isn’t any of those things on the Mac. Like Eric says in his post, the Omni Group still believes there’s a market for a commercial browser; why doesn’t Opera?
I’m very happy with Safari, even in its beta form, and I have Camino
Chimera to fall back on, and worse case, IE. If Opera wants to plow the same kind of development into their Mac product that they do for Windows, I’ll sit up and take notice. If instead, Opera wants to leave the Mac market, no tears will be shed here.